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Things Everyone Knows

So I’ve been trying to write a detailed history of the world for you this week, but I’ve totally been getting sucked into the minutia of it. So in the interest of speeding things along, and getting you buys some actual useful info before game. Here is an unpolished, basic bullet point of stuff that’s general knowledge to your characters.

The Maegar Imperium

  • This was the Dwarven empire of old and it spanned the entire continent. Think Rome. This was those guys, and the ruins of their once vast empire can be found pretty much everywhere in your across your known world. These ancient dwarves of the Maegar had successfully conquered pretty much all of the other known, sentient races, but allowed them some degree of autonomy to rule their individual city states under the banner of the Maegar.
  • The Maegar Imperium ruled not just through strength of arms, which was indeed impressive, but also through total control of Lyrium. Lyrium is a fairly common but extraordinary stone which can conduct magic the way copper conducts electricity. You want enchanted weapons or armor, Lyrium is the key. The ancient dwarves not only controlled all of the Lyrium mines, but also mastered it’s properties far beyond any of the other races at the time, weaving it’s enchantments into the very walls of their mountain fortresses. It was the key to their dominion.
  • At the height of their empire, and dissatisfied with the works of the lesser races, the ancient Maegar set about creating the perfect slave race. The dwarven priest, Thulgar, succeeded in weaving Lyrium with flesh to create the Kal’Vosh. Gray skinned with glistening patches of small gems like scales, they had a strange bond to elemental power and were the subservient labor force that Maegar had been striving for. The other races of course viewed them with no small amount of fear and called them abomination.
  • It was soon after the creation of the Kal’Vosh that the human city of Pykon rose up in rebellion. Located on the southeastern coast, Pykon was far removed from the center of the Maegar’s power base. Riots spread through the streets, the dwarven nobles were forced to flee the city, and their Kal’Vosh slaves were executed en masse.
  • The armies of the Maegar moved to retaliate and retake Pykon, only to find that their human vassals had learned way to much in their years of subservience. The disparate tribes the Dwarves had conquered long ago were gone, and in their place was a well trained, unified army. More importantly, they had learned the Dwarven secrets behind their engineering and Lyrium enchantments. The battalion the Maegar sent to retake Pykon was rebuffed, and word quickly spread across the continent. The Dwarves' advantage was gone, and centuries of resentment quickly boiled to the surface. Civil war broke out everywhere.
  • It was an ongoing state of war for years. The so-called lesser races turned on the dwarves, but they also turned on each other. Alliances were made, alliances were broken, and everyone was basically vying for land and dominion. During this time the Kal’Vosh also rose up and joined the rebellion against the Maegar. And then, at the height of the war, the first Demon Plague descended on the realm.

The Demon Plague

  • Many scholars blame the ancient dwarves for the Demon Plague, and claim that they Maegar called them forth in a last, desperate attempt to reclaim their empire and punish the other races for their rebellion. Some scholars say the demons were simply drawn by the incredible violence, and bloodshed, and rage of the time. But whatever the cause, a demon horde swept down from the northern mountains, and they did what demons do slaughtering everything in their path.
  • The Demon Plague pretty much ended all of the civil wars that had engulfed the continent at that point. The Maegar mountain holds were practically consumed, the Sildar forests were burned, the human city of Pykon was razed and reduced to ashes. In short, it was definitely unite or die time. The remaining dwarves of the Maegar fled the mountains and united next to the armies of the both Humans and Sildar. The legends say that even the Sildar’s living god, the Queen Mother, took mortal form to lead the united armies against the tides of darkness. It what has become known in the stories as the vanquishing of the Dark Powers, the newly allied races pushed the demon hordes deep into the snow covered northern mountain range and somehow banished them from the mortal realm.
  • After the dark powers were vanquished, people were pretty much freaking done with war for a while. The Sildar returned to their woodland kingdom, and the humans to their marble cities. The Dwarves were unable to return to the strongholds of the Maegar, which were thoroughly now cursed and corrupted. They scattered across the hills and fields and slowly became the dwarves we know today. The Kal’Vosh renamed themselves the Kal’Tor and set about making their own place in the world.
  • And for a time there was peace. Yaaay! Everyone took the opportunity to rebuild. Races started to mingle. The various kingdoms and nations as you know them now began to take shape and solidify. A great memorial was erected at the ruined city of Pykon, but the city itself was not rebuilt for fear stain of evil left behind on the land. It remains a haunted ruin to this day.
  • A quick word on religion. During the reign of the Maegar, the dwarven gods were of course revered throughout the empire. Of course when everybody turned on the dwarves, they abandoned their gods as well. Some returned to the worship the old ways of their people, guiding spirits and fey. But in the aftermath of the demon plague a new religion also spread across the landscape, centered on the nine spirits of light that sacrificed themselves to banish the demon hordes. I’ll tell you more about them as we go, and once I’ve actually made up names for them all.
  • Years passed without major calamity. There were of course border skirmishes and smaller wars as the various kingdoms settled into place. The Sildar returned to their seclusion, although they maintained some trade with the forest gnomes. The dwarves kept pretty much to themselves and tried not to remind people of how hated they once were. And then some trading vessels and fishing ships saw the masts and sails on the western horizon…
  • Out of nowhere there were suddenly thousands of ships approaching the western coast. It was blackened and tattered sails as far as the eye could see. Riders were sent to every nation and city within reach with a message to gather the armies and prepare for war. Soldiers amassed under a dozen different banners along the western coast for what everyone assume was an invasion. But as the ships drew near to land, they dropped their anchors and sent only a single ship to shore.

Baethelwynn and the West

  • Off this ship came a lord in fine, but worn and fraying robes wearing a tarnished crown. He announced himself as Baethelwynn, king of the Anvar. And then he immediately surrendered his crown and sword. It was a moment that became known as both Baethelwynn’s Peace, or Baethelwynn’s Surrender, depending on who you talk to. In short, a massive catastrophe had brought ruin to their entire continent far across the western sea. These ships were the survivors seeking refuge and a new home.
  • Amazingly, the surrender was accepted, and the assembled armies decide to avoid all out war. The decision was not without contention. Plenty of people on both sides thought they should have fought it out. Among the natives, people were not anxious to taken in hundreds of thousands of needy refugees. And among the refugees many believed the only way for them to truly make a new home for themselves would be to take it by force. But Baethelwynn negotiated terms and managed to avoid a slaughter. The refugee fleet was scattered to various ports along the western coast so as not to unduly burden a single kingdom. The exiles disembarked and began to migrate inland. Many formed their own smaller communities, others assimilated into the existing nations. Baethelwynn sealed the peace with a marriage into the royal family of Moraise, and his descendants still sit on the throne of one of the most powerful kingdoms on the southwestern coast.
  • There were no dwarves on the refugee ships! Just a well known fact. But there was a race of small, almost disturbingly jovial people with bushy hair and sideburns that no one had ever seen before. Halflings! And such is how the diminutive people first came to the continent. Many traveled inland to form small farming and merchant communities. Exceedingly curious, they got on quite well with humans and gnomes. But not all of them assimilated so easily. There was a lot of disdain and suspicion directed at the refugees, and the small halflings made an easy target. While many tried to take it in stride, quite a few headed back to their ships. They took to the seas again and settled on a chain of islands along the southern coast. It was a hard life, but the halflings adapted to it well and began to master the sea. Now, fearsome halfling pirates are known to sail the Back Straits off the southern coast, and are the dread of merchants captains and fishing ships alike. (That’s right, I said fearsome halfling pirates. You will learn to be afraid!)
  • And then the war came from what everyone thought was the most unexpected source. The Sildar. Refugee Sildar from the western continent had traveled to the northern wood to prevail upon the hospitality of their native kin. And a few short years later, the once peaceful wood erupted into a savage, and brutal war as the two factions of Sildar started slaughtering each other with fanatical enthusiasm. The Great Sildar war began and it spread well beyond their forest kingdom. Both sides called on former allies for assistance, invoking treaties most people had long forgotten about, and shit escalated real damn quick.
  • And wouldn’t you know it, as the war started to spread, motherfucking demons started to appear again. Bastards got no respect. Whispers started to spread of a Second Demon Plague. Sages and scholars advised the various human kingdoms to withdraw from the Sildar War. Instead, their armies marched north to counter the growing threat of a demon invasion from the mountains. Diplomats were sent to the Sildar to intervene and negotiate a peace. Without them, it’s entirely possible the two Sildar factions would have exterminated each other.
  • Short end of that story, the demon invasion was quelled with surprisingly little detail. The soldiers who returned from the north refused to talk about it, and for the most part what happened up there has eluded even the most adept of bards. As for the Sildar War, they agreed to a cessation of hostilities. The Sildar from the western continent were expelled from the forest kingdom, and learned to adapt to city life among the human nations. In time, they managed to forge their own kingdom, and their capital, the City of Amber, is now revered as a marvel of the age. It is quite literally a city with buildings sculpted out of amber, and people travel from all over to see it.


- The Sildar now have two very distinct factions or sub-races. The High Sildar are the city Sildar, the one’s who migrated from the western continent with Baethelwynn. The Wild Sildar are the natives, and remain in their woodland kingdom. Hundreds of years have passed since the Sildar openly waged war on each other, but many say the conflict still seethes beneath the surface. Both factions can be found traveling through the larger human communities, but High Sildar never go to the woodland kingdom, and Wild Sildar never go to the City of Amber.

  • The Kal’Tor can be found scattered about everywhere. They have a few communities of their own out there in the wilds, but have never made any great strides toward creating an actual Ka’Tor nation, nor do they seem to desire to.
  • And that’s pretty much the status quo that’s held for the last few hundred years up till now. The human kingdoms are definitely the most numerous and diverse. Everyone pretty much mingles freely in their cities. The Wild Sildar keep to themselves but do maintain some trade and relations with their neighbors, particularly the forest gnomes. The High Sildar are considered by many to be far more “civilized” and social. Their time among the human nations has definitely influenced their culture, but they are still distinctly Sildar. The dwarves have given up their dreams of empire, and seem content to work both field and mine if the coin is good. Silver and gold may be the coin of trade, but Lyrium remains the true basis commerce. No one has been able to master it the way the ancient dwarves did, but everyone is trying. Fearsome halfling pirates rule the southern seas, and from the north there are always, always, whispers of the demon hordes inevitable return to the realms of man.
making/5e/maegar/what_everyone_knows.txt · Last modified: 2020/06/30 14:43 (external edit)